WHILE some critics may have already declared it a frontrunner for this year’s Razzie Awards, let me point out that it isn’t that bad. Then again, it isn’t that good either.
On one hand, the CGI is spectacular. However, clocking in at a little more than two hours, the movie takes way too many detours before returning to its main plot.
So, by the time we get to the real crux of the movie, we are simply too bored, or just don’t care.
After the box-office success of 2014’s Lucy, director Luc Besson is riding high, but this movie might bring him down to earth with a thud.
The story is based on a comicbook series, Valerian et Laureline, that was created by Pierre Christin and drawn by Jean-Claude Mezieres.
As in some cases, comic books just don’t translate well on screen.
The story begins in the 28th century, onboard a giant space station called Alpha that houses thousands of alien species, each with their own city.
Meanwhile, on a planet where the inhabitants (looking like light beige cousins of the Na’vi from Avatar) are really into shiny pearls, things are all hunky-dory until it gets blown up.
Somehow, our hero Valerian (Dane DeHaan) gets a vision of the incident while lounging by a hologram beach with his ship-mate and love interest, Laureline (Cara Delvingne).
They are then called back for an assignment by the Minister of Defence (Herbie Hancock), who has them running around creating mayhem on an alien planet before bringing a Mül Converter (a small creature that can replicate things it consumes) to Alpha.
While guarding Commander Arun Filitt (Clive Owen), our protagonists are attacked. On the trail of the attackers, they discover a shocking truth.
Look out for Ethan Hawke hamming things up in a brief role as Jolly the Pimp, and Rihanna as a shape-shifting exotic dancer called Bubbles.
Aside from the fact that the lead actors look nothing like their comicbook counterparts, the story has way too many unnecessary chase scenes and not-so-funny attempts at comedy.
There is no chemistry between the leads here and it lacks dramatic tension that this film badly needs.
All in, it is high on promise but low on delivery.